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Firefighters facing dangerous conditions as Terwilliger Fire explodes

Acreage jumped from 250 to more than 1,200.

Posted: Aug. 22, 2018 6:37 PM
Updated: Aug. 22, 2018 6:48 PM

VIDA, Ore. -- Firefighters are facing dangerous conditions as they attack the Terwilliger Fire which exploded in size overnight and continues to grow.

Acreage jumped from 250 to more than 1,200. Close to 200 firefighters are battling the blaze and they’re still trying to get it under control. The fire, which is burning 50 miles east of Springfield, was just 1 percent contained Wednesday night.

Due to the growing wildfire, the following closures are in place:

Closed campgrounds:

  • Hard Rock Campground
  • French Pete Campground
  • Cougar Crossing Campground
  • Sunnyside Campground
  • Slide Creek Campground

Closed recreation sites:

  • Indian Ridge Lookout
  • Terwilliger Hot Springs
  • Echo Day Use and Boat Launch

Closed trails:

  • French Pete Trail #3311
  • Bear Flat Trail #3301
  • Quaking Aspen Trail #3332
  • Lowder Mountain Trail #3329
  • Olallie Mountain Trail #4100
  • Walker Creek Trail #3330
  • East Fork Trail #3308
  • Indian Ridge Trail #3315
  • Rider Creek Trail #3319
  • French Pete Trailhead
  • Upper Lowder Mountain Trailhead
  • Upper East Fork Trailhead
  • Lower East Fork/Lower Echo Trailhead
  • Echo Trailhead
  • O'Leary / Castle Rock Trailhead
  • Lowder Mountain Trailhead
  • Indian Ridge North (Upper) Trailhead
  • Indian Ridge South (Lower) Trailhead

Closed Forest Service Roads (FSR):

  • Sections of FSR 1900
  • Sections of FSR 2618
  • Sections of FSR 1927
  • FSR 1900-408
  • FSR 1900-410
  • FSR 1980
  • FSR 1985
  • FSR 1986
  • Sections of FSR 1993
  • FSR 1994

RELATED: Terwilliger Fire east of Springfield burning more than 1,200 acres

“There is a lot of hazards out there,” Incident Commander Alan Sinclair said. “There are a lot of snags coming down. I spent a little time out there this morning just to get familiar with what I was hearing, and then within a minute, I heard very loud large trees coming down in the fire area.”

Sinclair said Tuesday night crews got a better understanding of the size of the fire after an infrared-equipped plane mapped the area.

He said firefighters are focusing their efforts on the west side of Cougar Reservoir. The fire is burning in rugged terrain and not far from private timberland.

Heavy smoke continues to linger in the air, and officials said helicopters that were dropping water on the flames had to be grounded Wednesday afternoon because of the smoke.

Cougar Hot Springs is one of many places closed due to the fire.

When KEZI 9 News reporter Michael Sevren attempted to get closer to the fire lines, officials told KEZI it was still too dangerous.

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